The Weakest Link: Securing Points of Entry In Your Home

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According to the latest Crime in England & Wales dataset, 2.2% of adults experienced a domestic burglary in the year ending June 2018 with around 666,000 offences of this nature being reported to police.

Though these figures are the lowest they have been for over thirty years, the threat of burglary is still a significant one in many areas of the UK.

In this guide, we take a look at the most common points of entry in the home for incidences of burglary and give you the best advice on how to keep these secure.

Common Methods of Entry

According to the most recent dataset on crime statistics in the UK issued by the Office for National Statistics, the most common point of entry reported in incidences of burglary in the UK were as follows:

  • The front of a property (53%)
  • The rear of a property (37%)
  • The side of a property (7%)
  • More than one of these (3%)

The same statistics show that the method of entry was found predominantly to be doors (74%) followed by windows (23%) and other methods being just 3%.

It stands to reason that focusing your home security efforts in these two areas can significantly reduce your risk of a break-in.


Image via pxhere.

Securing Your Home

There are many ways that you can deter burglars from attempting to break in to your home including the visible installation of a reliable monitored security system and/or CCTV home surveillance.

You can also take measures to enhance, improve and maintain the security of the weakest points of entry to your home

Doors

The same set of data used in the above statistics shows that almost three quarters of home burglaries were due to entrance being gained through doors.

The total percentage of home burglaries (74%) where the door was the primary method of entry was broken down as follows:

  • Forced lock (29%)
  • Door was not locked (12%)
  • Broke/cut panel of door (11%)
  • Pushed past person who opened the door (8%)
  • False pretences (6%)
  • They had a key (6%)
  • Kicked, smashed or rammed door (2%)
  • Broke/smashed glass of door (1%)

Tips for Securing Your Doors

Following these simple steps could help prevent a break-in to your property via any of your external doors:

  • Always keep your doors closed and locked, particularly if you are leaving the premises unattended and overnight.
  • Ensure that all of your external doors are fitted with locks that conform to British Standard 3621.
  • Do not keep keys in the locks of your doors; this includes French windows, patio doors and other side and back doors.
  • If your front door has a window built in or adjacent to it then you may wish to consider having a dead lock installed and ensuring that this is used at all times. It is also worth replacing the glass in these areas to a reinforced variety.
  • Never keep spare keys hidden under a ‘pot’ or ‘mat’ outside any of your doors.
  • Do not keep your keys in plain sight of the front door. The incidence of keys being ‘fished’ from a letter box using a telescopic pole has been well-reported over recent years but still occurs.

Image via Informed Mag.

Assess who holds a key to your home and consider whether this is essential or not. If you have recently moved in to a property then it may be worthwhile considering having the locks changed.

In respect of intruders who trick or force their way into a home via the front door, consider installing a wide-angle door viewer. Combined with a security door latch you can reduce the risk of this happening. Always ask to see the ID of any cold callers before opening your door.

It is also worth registering with a community watch scheme in your area which can assist in reducing this kind of activity.

Lastly, there are an increasing number of car thefts that occur as a result of key fob ‘scanning’ using electronic signals in, what is known as, a ‘relay attack’. For this reason, it is important that you keep your car keys in a secure place. Metal tins can interfere with a signal of this kind with the fridge also being cited as a good location to store your keys overnight. Alternatively, you can invest in a specific security pouch which is metallised to protect your car keys. These are available at a low cost from online retailers such as Amazon.

Windows

With almost one in four break-ins being via a window (23%), we wanted to know the ways in which burglars were gaining entry in this way. The data used by the Office for National Statistics shows that the most common method of entry via a window is as follows:

  • Forced window lock/catch (10%)
  • Window open/could be pushed open (8%)
  • Broke/cut glass (6%)

Tips for Securing Your Windows

Never leave windows open when leaving a property unoccupied or where they offer easy access to an opportunistic thief. Ground floor windows in properties that face public rights of way or can easily be seen from the street are a prime target.


An open window is an open invitation to burglars. Image via Wikimedia.

Windows should also not be left open at night. Ventilation, particularly in the summer is often a reason for doing so; however, this offers an opportunity for intruders to gain access to your home. As an alternative, you could consider

All windows should be fitted with British Standard 3621 locks and these should be used.

Where extra security is required such as in areas with a high rate of burglary coupled with easy to access windows, you may wish to think about installing window grilles or bars.

It is important to remember that window restrictors which offer some protection to prevent young children from accidentally opening a window too far and falling out do not offer security protection.

Securing Your Property

Of course, not all theft occurs in the home itself with the incidence of robbery occurring on private property also being a problem.

External Buildings

If you have sheds, garages, garden offices or other external buildings on your property then the same rules as detailed above should also be applied.

Always make sure  that external buildings that contain valuable items such as cars, motorbikes or specialist machinery and/or equipment are fitted with high-security locks. You may also wish to consider installing a security alarm system for these areas which, coupled with CCTV home surveillance can help deter burglars.

Perimeters

Of course, not all belongings that are stolen are taken from the home or from inside a building.

According to the Office for National Statistics, garden furniture is the most overwhelmingly common item of property that is stolen from outside of homes. Other objects that are vulnerable to theft include:

  • Bicycles
  • Power machinery such as lawnmowers
  • Plants
  • Garden ornaments
  • Hand tools

The latter, combined with easy to access ladders, are often used to facilitate intruders in a break-in to your property itself.

Whilst it is not possible to secure all of the above items (particularly plants), you can help keep many of these items safe by ensuring that they are not left outside. If you do not have an outbuilding or garage where you can store tools, bicycles and machinery then consider a secure cabinet which can be locked. Additionally, bicycles should be chained to a solid item using a secure lock.

Installing PIR controlled external lighting is also a useful way to deter criminals from trespassing your perimeters.

Lastly, installing CCTV home surveillance to enable monitoring of your perimeters can act as an effective deterrent to would-be criminals.

As well as putting intruders off, footage taken from a high-definition security camera can be used by police to identify, trace and even convict burglars in the event of a theft from your home.

Connect 4 CCTV and Home Security

Connect 4 CCTV specialises in the supply and installation of advanced home CCTV security systems.

Designed both to deter criminal activity on your property and to provide homeowners with adequate surveillance technology to monitor their homes, we take home security very seriously.

If you would like to know more about how we can assist in providing you will the peace of mind offered by reliable home CCTV security then contact our security professionals today.

Featured image via Informed Mag.

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